The women of magic are much more than 'lovely assistants'
On the darkened stage, a spotlight illuminates a long rectangular box. A woman's head protrudes from one end, her feet from the other.
A large circular blade hangs suspended over her imprisoned body. The man in the black tuxedo waves his hand, and the blade begins to rotate and descend, its sharp teeth ripping through the box.
The whirling blade stops. The audience gasps. Something has gone terribly wrong. The woman is motionless. The astounded onlookers cringe as the magician walks over to the box and unfastens the lid.
The "lovely assistant," now smiling, hops out of the box. The relief is palpable. Bows are taken. Applause is vigorous. Presto! The show goes on.
Sawing a woman in half, a hemicorporectomy, is a classic illusion. And a classic role for women in magic — the pretty helpmeet, assisting men as they dazzle and enchant their audiences. But women are busting out of the boxes.
Frank Faulk's documentary, which was first broadcast a decade ago, is called "The Amazing and Astounding Invisible Women of Magic."
Click 'listen' above to hear the documentary.